Ruby writes from the Philippines. She teaches communication courses including Speech and Theatere Arts. She enjoys gardening and reading.
Reflecting about the benefits of writing, the great American novelist and short-story writer Stephen King, gives us a few of the many reasons for writing when he notes, “Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.” Added to these, six more benefits are listed below.
1. Writing enhances health.
In a study conducted by Laura King at Southern Methodist University, the research shows that, "Writing about life goals was significantly less upsetting than writing about trauma and was associated with a significant increase in subjective well-being... Results indicate that writing about self-regulatory topics can be associated with the same health benefits as writing about trauma."
Each time I write, I notice that my body releases some kind of hormones that make me feel great. My mind calms down. I feel less stressed. My thoughts are better, My heart is more relaxed, and I just have the perk of being good. I get that rejuvenating warmth within me. I experience a high level of euphoria. Especially when I see it published, I simply feel extra special about myself. It heals my soul.
2. Writing widens an individual's sphere of influence.
Unlike speaking, where you can only reach those who are geographically close to you, in writing, anyone may reach anyone and anywhere in the world. When you write, you have the possibility of talking to a lot of people instead of having only a limited number of people or group. It allows you to be heard by a more varied audience, as well as, a wider scope of readers. You can reach both the ordinary persons, as well as the elite ones who would be able to read your articles. Thus, as a writer, this gives you a richer experience and a wider sphere of influence.
3. Writing boosts memory.
Studies reveal that "writing improves memory and sleep, boosts immune cell activity and reduces viral load in AIDS patients, and even speeds healing after surgery."
Whenever I am stressed and depressed, I simply get my pen and write either a poem or any essay. A few minutes after writing, my memory bursts with so much thoughts. Ideas in my head simply perks up. And oftentimes, I couldn't stop writing. It gives me excitement and my minds becomes more active and engaged. The next things that happens? My writing notebook beside me, becomes loaded with thoughts recalled in the past or activities that happened years back. In short, writing activates your lazy-thinking brain cells.
Watch this video and find out why you need to write.
4. Writing reinforces cognitive skills.
Writing is a great mental exercise. It forces one's brain to think and focus. When I write, I allow my mind to stretch and expand to make connections to other ideas. According to Ronald Kellogg at the Saint Louis University, USA, "Writing an extended text at an advanced level involves not just the language system. It poses significant challenges to our cognitive systems for memory and thinking as well....Thinking is so closely linked to writing, at least in mature adults, that the two are practically twins. Individuals who write well are seen as substantive thinkers, for example. The composition of extended texts is widely recognized as a form of problem solving."
5. Writing develops organizational skills.
Whenever I write, I do some kind of organizing. Organizing comes in different types or levels. First, I need to organize in my mind what I plan to write about. Next, I must organize the sequence of events especially if I am writing a story or an essay. I arrange them from the title to the introduction, body, and conclusion. Lastly, I have to organize my own thoughts. I do this by making an outline. This outline is either imaginary which means arranging it in my mind without putting it on paper, or, an actual written outline which I make on a piece of paper or on my computer. This way, the ideas could flow in their proper order and writing becomes easier.
6. Writing improves grammar and other journalistic skills.
Unlike speaking, when I speak I can't see and correct my own mistakes. But in writing, I have the chance to see my own errors and make corrections on them. I can even see the flow of my own thoughts. Thus, I can make more changes, additions and improvements. This is not true in speaking because once you have spoken a word or a sentence, it takes time to recall and see your mistakes. And you would have to ask someone who has listened to you, to do it. In fact oftentimes, it's impossible to remember or see your own mistakes after you have said something unless someone has to point them out to you.
M Cecil Smith, Associate Dean for Research, College of Education & Human Services at the West Virginia University claims, that writing is an outstanding learning activity in the present life that makes people do and fulfil various goals either personally, intellectually, etc. This concept has been revealed based on several investigations that ..."writing activities yield a number of intellectual, physiological, and emotional benefits to individuals. These benefits include improve memory function, decreased symptomatology, and greater feelings of happiness" Smith adds.
So, do you want to:
- enhance your health
- widen your sphere of influence
- boost your memory
- reinforce your cognitive skills
- develop your organizational skills
- improve your grammar and other journalistic skills?
It's time to start. Get engaged in writing NOW.
© 2022 Ruby Campos